Thursday

1 John 2:22-28 Thursday 2 January 2014


Background

I am sure that I am not the only person who has overheard oreven had said to them, words such as "I accept that Jesus was agood, God fearing man living 2,000 years ago, and that he did manygood things in his life, but that is all he was. He was a man andlived and died as a man".

As in the previous passages from his letter John is reacting toa dilemma the people in that early Church are living through.Presumably the imaginary conversation I have quoted would besomething quite common amongst those who, seeing the believersworshipping the risen Lord found it difficult to understand andtried to undermine their belief by rational argument. John stronglydisputes such an argument and again uses the word "antichrist" (v.22) to describe those who dispute their faith in such a way. Theargument he makes in this passage is an argument that many of uswill face up to in our lives living as we do in the rationalistdays of the twenty-first century.

I come across many people who are happy to accept thecommandments of Jesus; they will claim that they love God, and lovetheir neighbour, and not quite so sure about whether they areloving their neighbour in the same way that they love themselves.However when it comes to equating Jesus the man with the spiritualJesus the Christ, part of the Trinitarian God we worship, they findit too difficult to cope with. It is then that we can finddivisions between people even within the church - folk who in theirprayers, hymns and sacred songs worship Jesus, because he is theone they can relate to as a friend, but find themselves ignoringthe wider trinity which is the foundation of our faith. There is adualism in this passage from John's letter as the Holy Spirit isnot mentioned but he is very firm in reminding his readers thatfather and son are indivisible and that through faith we "abide inthe Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us,eternal life" (vv. 24-25). He is, to quote Singing the Faith 636,'love that wilt not let us go' and who gives usa richer fuller life through faith in him.


To Ponder

  • How far is the Church in general becoming more Unitarian in itsworship and faith by focusing on one part of the Trinity?
  • Do you find it easier to relate to Jesus, the man you read ofin the Gospels, rather than a Triune God with whom we can interactthrough the Holy Spirit in our daily lives? Why might this be?


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